Working under the hood almost always requires good light. There are all kinds of work lights available on the market today—from old-school drop-lights to fancy LED lights that twist and turn in all sorts of directions. The best light is clean, consistent overhead light that doesn’t get in your way or constantly in need of adjusting.
Milwaukee has been upping its LED lighting game of late and their latest foray into the mechanic’s toolbox is part of that journey. Their brand new M12 LED Underhood Light checks most of the right boxes and, while we don’t have one to play with yet, seems to be built to last.
Based on Milwaukee’s own TRUEVIEW High Definition light (less color cast and more clarity), the M12 Underhood LED cranks out a respectable 1,350 lumens on it’s “High” setting and 650 on “Low.” Powered by the M12 battery platform, the light will run on High for about four hours and Low for up to eight.
While the Underhood LED can be used as a stand-alone or vertical drop light with its built-in stainless steel hook and rotating light bar, it’s really designed to mount under the hood (but you knew that already). Two hooks on either end of the unit allow the tool to extend from 47″ to 78″, which should work with just about any car, truck or SUV. The hooks themselves have a wide footprint and are covered by another Milwaukee innovation—FINISHGUARD—designed to protect the vehicle’s finish from scratches when mounted properly.
Weighing in at just over 4½ lbs, the Milwaukee M12 LED Underhood Light has an aircraft aluminum frame, impact- and chemical-resistant lens, and is backed by a five-year tool and lifetime LED warranty. Unfortunately, the light doesn’t fold or otherwise collapse for easy storage.
The M12 LED Underhood Light will be available in June (2017) pretty much anywhere Milwaukee tools are sold, including Home Depot and perhaps Amazon. The bare tool (if you already have some M12 batteries and a charger) will retail for $199, while the kit, which includes a battery and charger, will go for $249. A bit pricey, but as we know from experience, Milwaukee’s lighting solutions are quite solid.
Here’s a video tour of the Milwaukee M12 LED Underhood Light from Milwaukee: